Crypto Payments Firm Utrust Receives Operating License From Central Bank of Portugal

The company, acquired in January by Elrond, plans to begin operating in Europe as a virtual asset service provider in several months.

AccessTimeIconMar 16, 2022 at 8:03 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 7:16 p.m. UTC

Utrust, a Portugal-based on-chain crypto payments firm, has received a license from the Portuguese central bank (Banco de Portugal) to operate as a virtual asset service provider, Nuno Correia, Utrust co-founder and chief strategy officer, told CoinDesk on Wednesday.

  • Currently, Utrust is licensed and regulated as a crypto service provider in Estonia, which allows the company to also provide services in Portugal and the rest of the European Union. But Correia said the company plans to begin operating in those territories with its new license, which provides more reassurance to partners and customers because it’s issued by a central bank, in several months.
  • In June, Banco de Portugal licensed two cryptocurrency exchanges for the first time, Critoloja and Mind The Coin, recognizing them as virtual asset service providers. The bank had previously granted a crypto exchange license to Luso Digital Assets, which is registered in 36 countries, including France, the U.K. and Spain.
  • In January, Utrust was acquired by Elrond, a layer 1 smart-contract platform that leverages the web assembly (WASM) virtual machine.
  • Utrust was granted the only full all-categories license authorized by Banco de Portugal so far, according to Correia. The license allows a company to offer exchange services between fiat and digital assets, and between digital assets. It also enables a firm to transfer virtual assets between wallets and offer virtual assets safekeeping services, according to an official document published by the monetary authority.
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    Andrés Engler

    Andrés Engler was a CoinDesk editor based in Argentina, where he covers the Latin American crypto ecosystem. He holds BTC and ETH.